Saturday, July 3, 2010

How did I get that GoPro Flying Time Lapse?

Suction cup!

Its one of the most popular questions I get on my Youtube channel.
The first time I tried to get this shot I attached the camera with a clamp
to my seat back tray. It worked, but not great. I noticed another passenger
geeking out with a GPS attached to the window with a suction cup. I guess
he was tracking our every move from thirty thousand feet. On my next flight
I slipped the suction cup mounted camera up on the window just before take-off.
It worked great. I set the standard definition GoPro Hero camera
to time lapse mode one frame every two seconds.

For the final video I sped the time lapse up to smooth it out.
I find that with most time lapses its better to over shoot. In
post its much easier to speed a shot up then to slow one down.

Unfortunately, this was one of the last times I flew Southwest Airlines,
they just canceled all direct flights form Tampa to Dulles so I will
be headed back to United. Cool video, their loss.



  1. I envision a suction cup GoPro HD 360 degree egg timer timelapse on an airplane very soon...

  2. yea if you want to see the wife sleeping and me picking my nose ..... I don't think so ....
    i would love to do one of these shots from a
    KC-135 .... maybe one day?

  3. Great! I've been holding my iphone up to the window - tiring and somewhat shaky. Definitely sold on picking up a suction mount now.

  4. Who makes the Suction Cup and Tripod? That doesn't like the GO PRO Suction Cup that comes with the GO PRO Motorsports Edition.

    Thank you,

  5. Pedco UltraClamp and the suction cup is a cheap chinese off brand i got at a local camera store.
    Its not gopro, but you could do the shot with the gopro suction cup. The gopro suction cup is excellent.

  6. How much bigger is the Go Pro suction cup (if at all) I got it in my kit, just wondering if I should look at the other option to maintain a small "footprint" out of respect for fellow passengers and so not to attract to much attention.

  7. The GoPro suction cup is a little bigger, it will work fine. I use my little one because i can attach my egg timer panning unit to it. If you have not seen that at work check out my youtube video "pan left portland".
    Also, taking pictures out of an airliner window is not illegal.

  8. How often are you taking a picture P1 P2 P5 Or P10?

    Also how long was your Flight?
    What software are you using for editing?

    Sorry for all the questions....You did a great job I really like your egg timer.

  9. P2,P1 was not available yet and it works great.
    More frames are better, smoother, unless your shooting a glacier moving.

    Two hour flight, but I used clips from two flights. This was done with a standard def gopro in stills mode. I use an old version of Avid, express pro HD.

  10. Did they give you a hard time about turning it off before take off or before/during landing?

  11. No, they did not give me a hard time. Flight crews are generally cool if you treat them well.
    Generally, they are more worried about phones and computers then cameras.

  12. Did you worry about your battery at all?

  13. I always keep my batteries charged, and shoot till they die.

  14. What app or website did you use to make the video faster ? Thanks

  15. It is a time-lapse made from thousands of still photos.
    I used a video editing application called Avid to edit it together.

  16. what interval did you use for this video? I'm going on a flight in 2 days and want to shoot a time lapse, what time interval do you reccomend?

  17. I usually shoot 1 frame every 2 seconds. If you break the trip up, shoot take-off and landing at 1 fame every second or half second.
    And cruising altitude at 1 frame every two seconds or 5 seconds.
    If you have the new Hero4 try video time-lapse, I just tried it and it works well.
    good luck!

  18. if i want one continuous video from take off to landing what overall frequency do you reccomend? 1, 2 or 5 seconds?

    1. My goto interval is always 1 frame every two seconds. But the takeoff and landing portion will go by very quickly.
      If memory space is not an issue go for 1 frame every second.
      If it is a two hour flight that is manageable, a five hour flight ..... not so much.
      Good luck on your shoot, be nice to the flight crew.

  19. nice work buddy thanks for sharing, were the flight crew ok about you attaching equipment to the plane window? did they ask or say anything about it? if so how did you deal with it? thanks in advance :)

  20. 90% of the time everything is cool.
    Rule 1: Do what ever the flight crew tells you to do.
    Rule 2: Be nice.
    Rule 3: Be nice!!!!! Don't be a jerk.

    I figure you are renting a seat next to a window ..... use it.
    I just got back from a trip with four flights, no problems.
    I had one attendant ask about the camera, told her I was shooting a time-lapse.
    She said At the end of the flight I showed her and the rest of the crew the time-lapse in the galley.
    They loved it.
    American Airlines :)=

    Use the smallest rig possible, be cool and if you run into one of the few who don't like it.
    Just take it down.

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  22. It looks like the GoPro was still in it's waterproof housing? Did you have any problem with reflections from the window?

    1. No problems at all during the day. You will have problems with the airplanes windows if you try shooting a night flying time-lapse.
      I have done it but its very hard not to get reflections.
      Check this video.

  23. I'm going on a flight in 5 days. what suction cup would you recommend?

    1. Sorry Im late with the answer, Yes those will do, just test them before you put them in a dangerous place, and I always use a tether on the outside of a vehicle.
      My current favorite suction cup is the Fat Gekko single suction cup.

  24. Did you speed up the video in post?how much?and what program?

    1. The video was shot as a time-lapse, several hundred still photos.
      I imported them into a video editor, interval was 1 frame every 2 seconds.
      I use Avid media Composer. The time-lapse was not sped up this is the natural speed for
      this interval.

  25. I always wanted to try this but I worry about upsetting someone sticking something to the window.
    I typically hold my phone precariously for a long time while flying. I really wish I could find a way to film while closing the shade. Anytime I fly and it's a night to day transition they freak out if the window is open because it is extremely bright. Anyways good work. I hope next time I fly I work up enough courage to attach my GoPro via suction cup. Might bring a cloth to clean the cup mark once it's off to keep everyone happy.


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